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5 reasons you should have a...

5 reasons you should have a virtual colonoscopy

By Mr Ayman Abdelrazeq, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon ,

A Virtual colonoscopy, or CT Colonography, is a technique that uses computerized tomographic (CT) to make a three-dimensional image of the interior lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum.

A virtual colonoscopy is able to show abnormalities outside the colon, which a traditional colonoscopy cannot show.

A colonoscopy is an important diagnostic procedure usually recommended for anyone from the age of 40 and is used to identify abnormalities in your colon and rectum.

Colonoscopies save lives – Bowel cancer – also known as colorectal, colon or rectal cancer – is the second-most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK. Each year around 16,000 people die of bowel cancer. It is also is the fourth most common cancer in the UK.


With regular screening, this cancer is almost completely preventable.

A virtual colonoscopy may be performed to:

  • Investigate intestinal signs and symptoms – the procedure can help your doctor to explore possible causes of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhoea and other intestinal problems
  • Screen for colorectal cancer or polyps
  • Monitor the growth of polyps
  • Screen for recurrence of bowel cancer in people who have had surgery for this disease
  • Evaluate abnormal results from other colon tests
  • Replace a traditional colonoscopy if the thin lighted scope cannot be inserted in the colon for any reason, such as when a tumour blocks the passage.


Top five reasons you should undergo a virtual colonoscopy:

  1. 1. You have a family history of bowel cancer
  2. 2. You’re 40 years old, or older – or it’s been ten or more years since your last colonoscopy
  3. 3. You’re experiencing ongoing gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, constipation, irregular bowel movements, or blood in your stool
  4. 4. If you have had polyps before, your doctor may recommend a follow-up colonoscopy to look for and remove any additional polyps
  5. 5. You are concerned about your bowel / colorectal health and know that finding potential problems earlier mean they’re easier to treat


Since most colon cancers develop from polyps, a virtual colonoscopy reduces the risk of the development of cancer, through early detection and removal of lesions that might ultimately turn malignant. A virtual colonoscopy is less invasive and has fewer complications than a traditional colonoscopy. The virtual colonoscopy procedure is also now a covered health benefit for many insured patients.

Among all screening options, a virtual colonoscopy remains the preferred choice for most patients because of its superior accuracy, tolerability, safety and non-invasive approach.

For more information on virtual colonoscopies at Pall Mall Medical, please contact one of our GPs on 01744 62 44 64 or email

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